Why are sports fights legal?

Last night’s Kansas-Kansas State basketball game ended with an all-out brawl, highlighted by Silvio De Sousa grabbing a chair. He was ready to smack people around with it before somebody knocked it away as he was in his backswing.

You can check out the best photos and videos of the fight here.

While the chair never connected with anybody, plenty of punches landed. Seth Greenberg went on TV and said De Sousa should receive criminal charges. Charging just one guy in an all-out brawl seems aggressive, but I’ve always been fascinated by this idea that fighting during a sport is hardly ever looked at as a crime.

Jim Sorgi

This idea popped into my head at a young age when I was just a 10-year-old fella watching a Wisconsin-Ohio State football game on October 11, 2003. I remember this because I have a major sports problem but during that game, Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi sat out most of the second half after an Ohio State player choked him out.

You read that correctly.

Sorgi laid on the ground while Buckeye linebacker Robert Reynolds pushed down on his throat, bruising his vocal cords. He had difficulty breathing and could no longer speak. What’s the punishment for attempted murder by strangulation? There was no penalty on the play, he remained in the game and Reynolds received a one-game suspension.

It’s a good thing Reynolds did that on a football field because attempted homicide typically isn’t allowed outside of football stadiums.

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Myles Garrett

Just a few months ago, Myles Garrett ripped off the helmet of Mason Rudolph and smashed him in the head with it. I still laugh every time I see this with Rudolph looking toward the ref like, “Hey, where’s the flag?!?” Yes, Mason. Helmet smashing is a penalty.

Reports said Rudolph considered pressing charges and that idea was immediately ridiculed by everybody. He appeared to be bullied out of punishing a man who assaulted him. What a world.

Lynn Bowden Jr.

Unlike the first two examples, Kentucky football’s do-it-all star Lynn Bowden Jr. did his damage during pregame warmups when he punched a Virginia Tech player straight in the face prior to the Belk Bowl.

Bowden did not miss any of the game and a few hours later, he rushed for nearly 250 yards and threw the game-winning touchdown pass. Since he did this on the field, he’s a hero but if this happened outside the stadium, he’s in jail.

Whether it’s strangulation, swingin’ a chair or helmet, 100-mile-per-hour fastball or just some good ol fashion face punchin’, just make sure it happens on the field or court and you’ll be alright.